Panel keeps NASA chief guessing, Huntsville Times
"What will a White House-appointed panel of experts suggest to President Barack Obama for NASA's future course? The space agency's new leader - former astronaut Charles Bolden - is privy to new plans about as much as the ordinary man on the street, he said. Bolden is asked, he said, about what the Augustine Commission recommendations might be quiet frequently and the standing answer is: "I don't know," Bolden told a gathering of defense and aerospace workers at the 2009 Space and Missile Defense Conference Wednesday. "I do know that I will be at the briefing table with those who will write the recommendations for the president," said Bolden, a former U.S. Marine general and test pilot who was confirmed as the space agency's new chief a month ago."
"The 60s are over and no amount of artists' renderings are going to bring back the Apollo days if NASA's budget doesn't get a big boost. That's the key message from the independent panel chartered to rethink NASA's future. The Review of Human Space Flight Plans group also is looking at a variety of imaginative approaches to space exploration that could make NASA's future seem less like reheated Apollo leftovers."
"After leading the way in the human exploration of space for nearly 50 years, the future of U.S. manned space flight is in question. The space shuttle makes its last flight next year, and after that NASA must rely on the Russians to put astronauts in space. Unless it looks to the private sector. It may have to. A preliminary report from the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee (it even has a Facebook page) says current budget restraints are jeopardizing all future manned space flights even as NASA develops the Orion crew exploration vehicle that will replace the shuttle."
NASA May Outsource Amid Budget Woes, WS Journal
"For the first time since the advent of manned space exploration, the U.S. appears ready to outsource to private companies everything from transporting astronauts to ferrying cargo into orbit. Proposals gaining momentum in Washington, according to federal officials, aerospace industry officials and others familiar with the discussions, call for contractors to build and run competing rockets and space capsule under commercial contracts."
Keith's note: According to a report "End of an Era?" on NASA's plan to send humans back to the Moon that aired on NBC News "all of that is in jeopardy". Jay Barbery says that NASA has "58,000 people employed through contractors and civil servants" and that cutting the moon mission "would cut this in half". John Logsdon referred to setting goals and then cutting funding in half saying "this is not a case study of excellence in aitonal leadership." Sally Ride and Mike Griffin are quoted as well.